On a chilly, wet July afternoon,
Attendants are unfolding a platoon
Of stripy deckchairs on the pier.
Under sagging sunshades or in see-through
Plastic macs, holidaymakers stare
At a bevy of beauties in bathing suits
With carefully coiffured hair
Counting goose-bumps on mottled skin.
The compere and resident comedian
Approaches the stage with an audacious grin,
Clears his throat, taps the microphone,
And the seaside beauty contest begins.
Teetering on high-heeled, sling-back shoes,
Fluttering false eyelashes against the drizzle,
Teenage girls face cheers and boos
As mascara runs and tempers sizzle.
To an impressionable child of six or seven,
Unaware of nineteen sixties feminism,
Such a glamorous parade was heaven
And an unattainable ambition
For a skinny, bespectacled girl,
Sandy-haired and without a curl.
© Kim M. Russell, 2016
Image found on www.dailypost.co.uk